Inverness eateries set to be keen as mustard on Good to Go food waste reduction scheme
Issued by Zero Wate Scotland
Diners in Inverness need no longer feel embarrassed to ask for a ‘doggy bag’ for the leftover food they’re not able to finish while dining out.
The Scottish Government’s ‘Good to Go’ scheme, run by Zero Waste Scotland, launches in Inverness and the Highlands today (20 January) following a successful pilot scheme in 2014, which saw an average 42% reduction in food waste per restaurant.
Restaurateurs throughout the region are being urged to sign up to the initiative, which provides free Good to Go boxes for leftovers. According to Zero Waste Scotland research, two-fifths of diners say they are too embarrassed to ask restaurant staff for a ‘doggy bag’, while three-quarters of those surveyed stated that they would welcome being offered the option.
Restaurant manager Matthew Bohdaniec runs The Mustard Seed – one of the top-rated restaurants in Inverness, which recently signed up to Good to Go. He said:
“We’re very conscious of the significant environmental harm caused by food waste, which is why we do everything we can to minimise or recycle it. That’s why Good to Go is such a brilliant fit for The Mustard Seed – and no doubt most other restaurants – as it completely removes any uneasiness that customers have about asking to take their food leftovers away with them.
“Of course, in an ideal world, we would prepare only what’s required in the first place – but in the restaurant trade it can often be very difficult to predict differing appetites. As part of Good to Go, our staff will politely encourage diners to consider taking away any food they can’t manage to eat during their visit.”
“Good to Go will enable us, as responsible business owners, to help the environment, keep waste to a minimum and save money longer-term.”
Ylva Haglund, food waste campaigns manager at Zero Waste Scotland, said:
“The great thing about Good to Go is that we know that it delivers results. There’s really no reason for people to feel embarrassed or uncomfortable about asking to take their leftovers away with them.
“Good to Go is designed to make the action of asking for a ‘doggy bag’ a regular restaurant request in Scotland – as regular as asking for the bill!
“Of the 16 restaurants in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Irvine and East Kilbride that took part in the pilot campaign, the average food waste figure fell by 42% as diners took home their leftovers – and 92% of those stated that they later ate the leftovers. Our research showed that if restaurants across Scotland routinely offered doggy bags to customers, it could save the equivalent of almost 800,000 full meals going in the bin every year.
“Additional feedback from the restaurants suggested that the pilot also prompted them to implement additional food waste reduction measures, such as adjusting portion sizes, changing menu options, and checking if diners actually wanted sides such as chips or vegetables before serving them.”
Diners are also being asked to contact their favourite restaurants via Twitter and Facebook to tell them they’d like to see the Good to Go service offered.
Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead, said:
“With an outstanding reputation for having some of the best home-grown food on the planet, it is simply incredible that Scotland’s restaurants currently throw away the equivalent of one in every six meals they serve.
“The successful Good to Go pilot showed that there’s a real appetite throughout Scotland to reduce restaurant food waste and save money by removing the perceived uncertainty or embarrassment surrounding the process of making the ‘doggy bag’ request.
“I want to see as many food businesses in Scotland as possible signing up to Good to Go, and I very much look forward to seeing more and more restaurants adopting the Good to Go approach – starting with Inverness – as the word spreads.”
Any restaurant or food business of small to medium size in Scotland can apply to sign up to Good to Go and receive a free starter pack of Good to Go doggy bags, stickers, posters and branding by emailing email@example.com or by calling 0141 314 1436.
For further details, visit http://www.zerowastescotland.org.uk/GoodToGo.